Spiritual Thermometers

I didn’t know this but I have some spiritual thermometers. One of them is this blog. I can tell when my relationship with God is slipping because I can’t come up with anything to write about. I can skip reading my Bible and praying for days and not realize it but there is something about having a specific set of days to post a blog that makes you look at the calendar and go- CRAP, it’s been over a week since I posted a blog.

I’ll be honest, my relationship with God has gone downhill of late. We haven’t been attending church regularly, nor have I been reading my Bible and praying like I should. Basically I haven’t been spending time with God. You know what? I miss Him. I miss the relationship, I miss the serenity, I miss the calmness in His voice when He speaks to my heart. I have once again let life get in the way. I have reduced my witness to a whimper and my ministry to a crawl.

A lot of it has to do with not having a church home. I have no root. I’m not grounded. But that’s not a good excuse. I still have a Bible, I still have the ability to talk to God anytime I so desire. I just don’t. I wake up early and check Facebook before I check in with God. I read my email before I read God’s word. I am doing life without the giver of life and it really just sucks. My empathy is gone, my compassion is low and my patience is small.

I see it most of all with my kids. I am meaner to them than usual. I snap at them instead of listening to them. I ignore them instead of getting down on their level and listening. I am quick to punish and slow to praise.

I don’t like me when I’m like this. I don’t recognize the man in the mirror. I know the face but the countenance is unfamiliar.

1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.

don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

Scrub away my guilt,

soak out my sins in your laundry.

I know how bad I’ve been;

my sins are staring me down.

4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen

it all, seen the full extent of my evil.

You have all the facts before you;

whatever you decide about me is fair.

I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,

in the wrong since before I was born.

What you’re after is truth from the inside out.

Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,

scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.

Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,

set these once-broken bones to dancing.

Don’t look too close for blemishes,

give me a clean bill of health.

God, make a fresh start in me,

shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

Don’t throw me out with the trash,

or fail to breathe holiness in me.

Bring me back from gray exile,

put a fresh wind in my sails!

Give me a job teaching rebels your ways

so the lost can find their way home.

Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,

and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.

Unbutton my lips, dear God;

I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,

a flawless performance is nothing to you.

I learned God-worship

when my pride was shattered.

Heart-shattered lives ready for love  Psalm 51:1-17 The Message


It’s all about Him,

ShawnReblog this post [with Zemanta]

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

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Life Changes

Time For Change by David Reece.So much in life changes.  So much in life is here but for a brief time and then vanishes.  So much in life is upheaval and motion.  Stuff wears out, memories fade with time.  The only thing that is constant is change.  It is nice to know that there is one thing that never changes, never fades and never wears out- God!

11 Earth and sky will wear out, but not you;
they become threadbare like an old coat;

12 You’ll fold them up like a worn-out cloak,
and lay them away on the shelf.
But you’ll stay the same, year after year;
you’ll never fade, you’ll never wear out.

Hebrews 1:11-12 The Message

Some people are all about change.  President Obama’s campaign was based on the premise that things needed to change, “Change you can believe in.”  Life is change.  Nothing stays the same.  We grow older, we learn, we change.  Some change is good.  Unfortunately most things seem to change for the worse.  Loved ones die.  Kids grow up an leave.  Wealth dwindles.  The memory starts to go.  Taxes go up.

But there is one constant.  There is one person that stands the test of time.  There is one that never fades, and I’m not talking about Elvis.  I’m talking about God.

God never changes.  He remains the same.  No matter what life throws at you, He has His catchers mitt on.  When life falls apart, He’s holding Super Glue.  When crazy is knocking at your door, He is installing a deadbolt.

No matter what else changes, He remains unchanged.  His love endures forever.

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.

4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
7 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
8 the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
9 and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1-9 New Living Translation

It’s all about Him,

Shawn

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

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Nouns vs. Verbs

Hello everyone and welcome to another round of “NOUNS vs. VERBS”.  In today’s episode we will be looking at the word “Church” to decide if it’s a, say it with me- “A NOUN OR A VERB!”  That’s right.  We have some great prizes for the winner of today’s challenge, tell them Chuck.

Well Frank, if they win they will receive some dirt under their fingernails, some blisters on their hands and maybe, just maybe their wallets and purses will be just a touch lighter!”

What the heck am I talking about?  Have I lost my mind?  Has the cheese slipped off my cracker?  Well, yes,  but that’s besides the point.  What I’m talking about is how you and I view the word “church”.  If you ask people what is “church” you will get a bunch of answers, the uninformed will say “the building”.  The informed will say “the people”.  The deeply spiritual know it all will say, “I am the church”.  The religious theologian will say, “The priesthood of believers are the church”, usually in a very nasally voice.

That’s the problem though, everyone of those definitions are for nouns.  But the Bible is full of Jesus telling us to see the word “church” as a verb.  In the Great Commission alone we are told to “go’, “train”, “baptize” and “instruct”.  In the Great Commandment Jesus tells us, the church, to love God and to love others.

Something I recently noticed is the last verse in the Great Commandment, take a look.

“These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”  Matthew 22:40 The Message.

Everything hangs on these two commandments, love God and love others.  THIS IS CHURCH!  Church in action.  Being the Church.  Church as a verb.

This Christmas season try BEING the Church, not just going to church.  Maybe don’t spend thousands of $$$$$ on presents that people will either toss in the garbage or re-gift next year.  Maybe buy your kids two less toys this year and take that money and do Church with it.  Give it to your local church.  Give it to a local charity.  Give it to someone in your neighborhood that can’t pay their electric bill much less buy Christmas presents for their kids.

Or you can give the gift of clean water. Living Water International

I don’t work for these people but I know they are legit.  My church donates to them.  There are literally millions of charities you can donate to, find one you identify with and give.

Make Church a verb.  Something you do.  Don’t just go Sunday mornings and plop you rear-end on a chair for an hour or so and think you lived the Christian Life.  You aren’t “doing church”, you are just going to a church.  Go get your fingernails dirty, get some blisters on your hands and lighten your wallet/purse a little this year.

Lets Church this year!

It’s all about Him,

Shawn

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

The Forgiveness Formula- Part 3

In part 1 of this series I gave the first part of the Forgiveness Formula, Forgiveness=Freedom. In part two I gave you the second part of my Forgiveness Formula, Forgiveness+Love=Restoration. Now in part three of The Forgiveness Formula I would like to discuss the final equation.

In part two we went beyond rational. We learned about loving our enemies. In this post we will going way beyond rational. Almost to the point where people think we might be a little crazy. Today I want to write about a word most of us don’t like to read, sacrifice.

No one likes to sacrifice. No one like to deny something from themselves. I don’t. I want what I want and I want it now. Case in point. About a month ago I was dead set on getting a new laptop. I researched it, I talked about it and I dreamed about it. We were getting some money for our move and part of it was budgeted to go to me for a good laptop. I have a desktop but it is in our bedroom and while I like to write early in the morning my beloved wife likes to sleep. A laptop would be the perfect solution. I can grab it and go out into the living room and type away with no fear of waking The Queen. But, as always, life happened. Money was needed for other things. I didn’t like it (Amy and I argued over it, which we rarely do), but I sacrificed. As much as I didn’t like sacrificing it wasn’t a huge deal as it was for my family. I love my family.

But what if it was for someone you don’t like? What if you were asked to sacrifice something for an enemy or even the guy at work that just annoys the heck out of you? What if a major sacrifice on your part for someone that hurt you might allow that person to find their way back to God? Would you be willing to give up something for someone you don’t like? I know, me neither. Not easily at least. I’d need a sign from God; billboard size, flashing neon lights and a tractor trailer horn blaring saying “Sacrifice for (insert random name here).”

I’m not going to give you a specific Bible verse this time. I’m just going to recall to your mind the story of Jesus. A man who physically walked this Earth around 2,000 years ago. A man who trusted a friend named Judas with his life and was betrayed. A man who stood up for what was right, fought for the oppressed and taught that love is the most important of all commandments, love of God and love of others. A man that the entire world rejected, spit on and beat with a whip. A man that not only cried out while hanging on a cross in terrible agony begging God to forgive them for what they had done to him but went further. He loved them. He prayed for them. And then he went totally crazy. He sacrificed for them. He sacrificed his own life. He died. He died for me when I was rejecting him. He died for me when I was making fun of him. He died for me when I was ignoring him. He died for me when I was hurting others. He died for me when I was disobeying his Word and enjoying my sinfulness. He died for me. He sacrificed for me, beyond forgiveness, beyond love- sacrifice.

You see Forgiveness+Love+Sacrifice=Redemption. Redemption is deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; salvation.

Jesus is our example.  He is the one we should hold ourselves up next two.  If we want to really reflect Jesus like a mirror then we need to be willing to go to the extremes that He went to.  First, forgive.  Then learn to love that person.  Next force yourself to sacrifice for them.  Did you know Jesus didn’t want to die?  He didn’t want to sacrifice for us.  He did it because He loved us so much he forced Himself to do it.  Read in Matthew 26 what Jesus prayed before He was to go to his death.

39Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?” (Matthew 26:39, The Message)

Jesus wanted out.  Wouldn’t you?  I would.  But He also wanted to please the Father.  He wanted to do God’s will above His own.  He was willing to sacrifice.

It won’t be easy.  It won’t be fun.  But your sacrifice may mean the difference between salvation and damnation for someone.  What better way to show the love of God than to sacrifice for your enemy?

It’s all about Him,

ShawnReblog this post [with Zemanta]

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

Surprise!!

I love surprising people and I love being surprised, usually. 

1196025_79535723I love surprising my wife.  I don’t do it enough, but I love it.  Actually, i think I love torturing my wife before I surprise her.  She hates surprises.  Actually, she hates knowing about surprises and not knowing what the surprise is.  So what do I, the loving husband do?  I get her something and then tell her, but I won’t tell her what it is.  Why?  Because it drives her nuts.  Yes, I have a little bit of a mean streak.  I like to keep her guessing.  I figure the day she knows what I’m going to do is the day our marriage becomes stale.  I doubt she would agree, but whatever. 

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I like being surprised as well.  The other day she went shopping and came back with  a surprise for me, a Superman coffee mug.  It’s huge and it has Superman on it, two of my favorite things.  It also says “The Man of Steel” on the inside lip.  I feel manly just writing that! 

 

 

There are some surprises I don’t like though.  For instance.  A while back, probably about a year now, ,my daughter Abby surprised me.  Actually she scared the manliness out of me but since the word “surprise” is less emasculating we’ll go with that.

I was sound asleep when I heard the screams.  I immediately stumbled out of bed and started zombie-walking towards my kids room, you know what I mean, one eye sort of open but everything is blurry and dark, you’re a little disoriented and your balance is off.  As I walked out of the bedroom door and started into the kitchen a demon began to shriek at me from about two feet away and about two feet off the floor.  I, in my manliness, was terrified and began to scream as well, and not in a  “get out of my house foul demon” way.  Eventually I figured out the demon was my two year old little girl.  As I realized this I stopped screaming and started trying to calm her.   She stopped and then really surprised me.  She said, “Daddy, I threw upblahhhhhhh.”  And then proceeded to demonstrate exactly what she had done.  Now I’m wide awake and quickly grabbing her, cupping my hand under her mouth and sprinting for the sink.  SURPRISE!!!!!!!!

This is not a good surprise.  Nope!  I totally agree with comedian Bill Engvall, if alarm clocks came with a built in recording of a kid throwing up no one would ever need to hit the snooze button again.

1084632_47217427As much as we get surprised by things, good or bad, God never does.  But we seem to think He does don’t we?  I can’t count the number of times something has happened, usually bad, and I have looked up at heaven and thought, “Where were you on that one?”  The meaning behind it being, “Did that surprise You, did it catch you unaware?”  The obvious answer is, “No”.  We however, don’t think of the obvious answer.  We question God. 

I am not one of those people that believe it is a sin to question God.  I don’t believe it’s a sin to be angry at God.  He gave us emotions, He wired us this way, how can it be sin?  I do believe it is a sin to stay that way because we don’t talk to Him about it.  These things lead to bitterness and uncontrolled anger.  There have been many times I have been angry with God for a perceived slight or injustice, but every time I have gone to Him He has taken my anger and frustration and given me peace and faith.  How?  By confessing my anger or fears too Him He can soften my heart and rebuild the trust and faith I have in Him.  This is true in any relationship.  When you feel hurt or angry with someone the first step is going to that person and telling them.  It allows the other person to tell you their side.  Most times it was a misunderstanding and trust can be restored.  (this is assuming the other person did not mean to harm you, as God never does things to harm you but only for your good this illustration works) 

By realizing that God is never surprised because He knows everything, we can trust that He is in control.  Through God’s Word we learn that all things that happen are working toward our betterment.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Romans 8:28  NLT

This verse has been taken out of context and made to mean something it doesn’t for years.  This does not mean God is going to give you a Mercedes nor does it mean that when we sin God will just magically make it all better.  What it does mean is that for all Christ-Followers God is actively using the circumstances in our lives, whether self inflicted or caused by Him, to grow us spiritually and make us a more mature disciple. 

God may surprise us but nothing surprises God.  So when life wakes you up in the middle of the night, relax.  God is still in control and He isn’t caught off guard.  We may not see the big picture, but He does and He is working everything out in our lives for our own good.

Here’s a funny video of a guy getting surprised.


Did you like this post?  Did you hate it?  Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below.  I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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Check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as media downloads, all free!

Questions?  Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know.  I will try to answer it the best I can.  No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

I’m not Einstein!

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Watch That Last Step, it’s a doozie!

wylie_Help One of the things I struggle with is small compromises.  I have a trend, I start out strong, reading my Bible, praying and trying to do God’s will.  Then, slowly but surely, I start to drift away.  I get lax on my Bible reading, I forget to pray, I stop looking for God in my daily life.  Invariably this eventually leads to compromise.  Soon, I’m just going through the motions.  God seems as distant as the sun in the sky and just as unreachable.  This process takes time, a year, maybe two years, but never-the-less, it seems to be a constant cycle.  We all struggle.  We all take a step or two forward and a step or two back, but eventually I seem to take several steps back and like Wylie E. Coyote, I look down and nothings under me and it’s a long way to the bottom.

For years I have tried to figure out why I do this.  Why am I on this merry-go-round?  Well, I may have part of my answer.

I am reading a book by Charles Stanley called “LANDMINES In the Path of a Believer”.  I am on the chapter about the landmine of Compromise.  In it he lists and explains several reasons we compromise.  The one that hit home for me was the need for acceptance.  I thought I was over this.  But apparently I am not.  When I read it a light clicked on in my head.  The Holy Spirit spoke directly to my heart and basically said, “No, you’re not over this.  It’s still there behind your facade.  It waits to jump up when you aren’t looking.  I want it gone, I want you to KNOW that the only person that needs to accept you is Me.”  Granted it wasn’t in such concise words, but that was the gist of it. 

A little background.  I have a skewed sense of God.  I get it from the way my Dad was when I was a child.  This is NOT a rant against him.  I love and respect my Dad.  We have a great relationship and he is a great Dad and Grandfather to my kids. 

Before he became a Christ-Follower he was never there.  He worked 80+ hours a week (not an exaggeration) and when he was home he rarely spoke to us kids, at least that’s the way I remember it.  My Mom was who we talked with and who we asked permission to do things from.  Dad was there when Mom said, “Shawn needs a spanking.”  I don’t remember my Dad expressing love and pride in me very much.  Maybe he did, but I don’t remember it.  Not many hugs or “I love you”s.  He was a very unemotional man.  This is where I got my view of God.  God is our Father and our views of our earthly Dad’s cross over into our views of our heavenly Dad.  When I think of God, I picture an unemotional, distant, gone a lot, kind of God.  While this is completely the opposite of God it is hard to get my heart to accept it.  My mind get’s in the way. 

Top that off with not being in the “in crowd” in school for most of my life and you find a 34 year old man who has been a Christ-Follower for 29 of those years and still struggles with acceptance from God.  This in turn flows over into looking for acceptance from others.  This continues into seeking acceptance by trying to fit in with those at work.  So I struggle with swearing, I struggle with inappropriate jokes, I struggle to share my faith.  I struggle with standing up for my ideas and beliefs. 

All these small compromises eventually lead to bigger and bigger ones until I am standing in mid-air looking down and thinking, “This is gonna hurt!” 

So what’s the answer?  How do I change?  How do I get my heart to agree with my head on it’s view of God? 

Here is a quote from Charles Stanley’s book,

“Ask yourself, Do I want to be accepted by a group of people who could love me today and not tomorrow, or by an eternal, loving, heavenly Father, Who loves me with an everlasting love?”  The answer is simple, There is no greater acceptance than God’s acceptance.  Anything else is many times less than the best.  When you make a commitment to be the person He has designed you to be, you will face some challenges.  Rest assured, you won’t face a single one alone.”  Charles Stanley,  Landmines In the Path of the Believer

Which is all well and good, but it is also way easier typed than done.  It’s the doing part that gets me.  I have to make sure I am focusing on the small compromises.  Ensuring  I don’t start back down that road.  My main prayer my whole life has been that I would see God as He really is and not as I think He is.  I want to be able to have a close relationship with Him.  Reading and meditating on God’s Word has helped.  I am closer to seeing the true God than ever before, but I still have a long ways to go.

28 For the LORD loves the just
       and will not forsake his faithful ones.  (Psalm 37:28 NIV)


9 This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins.  11 Dear friends, if God loved us that much we also should love each other. (1 John 4:9-11, New Century Version)


 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, New Century Version)


God loves me.  He also loves YOU!  Maybe that is the first time anyone has ever told you that.  Maybe it is the millionth time but this time it finally made sense.  The fact is that no matter whether I believe He loves me or not, He does.  He never stops.  He never leaves and He never ignores.  I have felt that love many times before and it is amazing.  Why do you think I want so badly not to fall backwards this time?  I have it now, I want it forever.  I want nothing to come between myself and God. 

Maybe you have never felt the love of God but right now you are reading this and you hear a faint whisper in your heart.  A simple longing to feel loved, cared for.  This small spark of hope burned just a little brighter when you read about my struggles, that you weren’t alone after all.  My friend, you are not.  There is a God out there that loves you, He loves you so much He sent His Son Jesus to die for you so that the love you crave can be yours.  So that the emptiness can be filled, not by temporary things, but permanently, once and for all. 

If that is you today and you are ready to grab the Love, the Acceptance, and the Assurance that God is with you, it is quite simple.  Notice I didn’t write that it is easy.  It is simple in the fact that all you need to do is accept it but it is not easy in the respect that you have to give up control of you.  You can’t be first anymore.  God has to be first.  Putting Him before “self” is hard, but it is so worth it. 

Now, I want you to understand that simply saying a prayer does not “save” you.  Saying the prayer below has no more power to save you than saying, “I want to be a fairy” will make you a fairy.  It is the intent and faith of your heart that saves you.  Only putting your faith and trust in Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins and believing that He was raised from the dead three days later and that He is the ONLY way to get a relationship with God, will save you.  The below prayer is just a way of putting all that into words and telling God that that is your decision.  There are no magical words to get into heaven.  You either believe and accept Jesus or you don’t. 

The biblical method of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ.  Going to church doesn’t save you, reading the Bible doesn’t save you, being christened doesn’t save you.  Salvation only comes by faith in Jesus.   John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life.” Salvation is gained by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), by receiving Jesus as Savior (John 1:12), and by fully trusting Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), not by reciting a prayer.

So what do you think?  Are you ready to find peace, joy and Love?  Simply believe what we read just a second ago and pray this prayer,

Jesus,

  I need you.  I need Love.  I need acceptance.  I don’t want to be empty anymore.  I accept your offer of forgiveness and I ask You to be in charge of my life.  I don’t want to be the boss anymore, I want to follow you.  Forgive me for my failures and my sins.  Help me to stop doing what I want and start doing what You want.  I want You as my Savior, I want You as my Lord.  Thank you for dying for my sins.  I believe you were raised from the dead and that you are alive in heaven right now.    In Jesus Name, Amen.

If it was your decision to believe, accept and pray then allow me to be the first to say,

“Welcome to the family!” 

“Welcome to love and forgiveness and acceptance like you have never known.  It won’t always be easy, sometimes it will be very hard.  But the struggle is worth it. 

Let me encourage you, if you made the decision to follow Jesus and accept His forgiveness, send me an email or leave a comment below with a good email address.  Not only do i want to send you another congratulations but I would also like to send you some info on what happens next.  Nothing big, I won’t spam you.  I don’t have a generic email I send out.  Here’s my email- reflectionsofamirror@gmail.com

Or if that freaks you out a little, find a church in your area and talk to the Pastor.  I don’t push one church over another but make sure it is a Christian Church. 

Another place you can go with a bigger presence is InTouch Ministries.  Or you can contact the folks at Billy Graham Ministries.   A great website to look at is www.crosswalk.com.  These ministries are very large and will help you take the next steps in your relationship with Jesus.  No matter what you decide though, find someone that can help you and show you where to go now.  If you just let it sit all those same feelings of emptiness and loneliness will come back.  Even though God hasn’t left you, it will feel that way.


Did you like this post?  Did you hate it?  Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below.  I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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Check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as media downloads, all free!

Questions?  Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know.  I will try to answer it the best I can.  No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

I’m not Einstein you know

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The Name Game

name   What’s in a name?  Why do names matter?  Are they really that important?  I have three children.  Each of them has a unique name.  I wanted to name one Larry and the other two Darryl.  If you don’t understand the reference go HERE!  But, fortunately for my kids, my wife disagreed.  So we spent months with each child trying to figure out what to name them.  Initials were important, We didn’t want them to spell out P.M.S. or anything.  My last name is Holmes, so Mo William was out (Mo Bill, Mobile Holmes, yeah, I tried unsuccessfully for that combo to.)  Names have meanings, and there are hundreds and hundreds of books and websites dedicated to that.  For instance, my name means “God’s Gift”, to which my wife quickly points out, not to women.  My Mom’s name means “Warrior Maiden”, if you have met my Mom, she lives up to this.

But even more important than our name, is the name we call Jesus.  What name do you use for Him?  Do you call Him Lord, Savior, Master, Provider?  Maybe you just call Him Jesus.  This is important, and I don’t want you to to scan over it, so take a second and push slow mo on your brains remote for a bit.  Right now you are at a certain place in your life, maybe your in a bad place and life seems to be falling apart.  Maybe you just came out of that bad place and God did something incredible that helped you through it.  Maybe you are on that mountain top we were looking at yesterday and life is the best it has ever been.  No matter where you are right now I want you to answer the same question that Jesus asks Peter in the following verses,

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”[a]

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[b] the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:13-16 (New Living Translation) emphasis mine

“Who do you say I am?”  Who is Jesus to you right now?  To Peter, he was the Messiah.  The messiah was the promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people.  This is who they had been waiting for.  He was the fulfillment of prophecy from the Old Testament.  That’s who He was to them.  But who is He to you?  Right now?  At this moment in time?eye_of_god

In the Old Testament God had many, many names.  For a downloadable list of most of those names click HERE!  God’s name changed as He met different needs.  To some He was God Almighty.  To others He was God, the One Who Sees.  He was also named, The LORD our Provision , The LORD Heals and my favorite- God Everlasting.  These are just a few.  Download that list.  It is really good. 

Jesus’ name changes as well.  He is called The Way, The Son of God, Redeemer,  Brother, Husband of the Church, Savior, Master and Truth.  And while there are many other names what special name do you have for Him?  A friend of mine has just learned to call Him Healer.  Another friend I know probably calls Him Relationship Fixer.  Maybe you call Him Friend.  I hope that all of you can call Him Savior and Master.

Jesus-2 Why do I think this is important?  Why a whole blog about this?  Because names have meaning.  And the name you call Jesus or God has meaning for you.  It will show you where you’re at in your life.  Right now I call Him Sustainer because He is sustaining me while I am away from my family.  I also call Him Friend because it is lonely in a 10’ X 10’ room day after day.  Think about what you call Him, see if it doesn’t shed some light on your place in life.

Or maybe you want to call Him what you want Him to be in your life.  Maybe you don’t feel like He is with you when you are lonely, call Him Friend anyway.  Maybe you are hurting and sick and what you need is a healer.  Call Him “The One Who WILL Heal Me”.  That’s what Peter did, Jesus had not delivered them yet when Peter called Him the Messiah.  Peter was going on faith.

Who do you say He is?  It’s important! 

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